Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Artportalen – citizen science data contributing to biodiversity research and conservation
Ulf Gärdenfors, Anna Maria Wremp

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rydbergsalen
Date: 2014-10-30 12:00 PM – 12:15 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-03


The Swedish Species Observation System (Artportalen) is an Internet-based, freely accessible reporting system and data repository for species observations. The system handles reports of geo-referenced species observations of all major organism groups from all environments, including terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The database has expanded exponentially since its launch in year 2000 and currently holds more than 40 million recorded observations, increasing by the minute. In average, 10.000-15.000 new observations are submitted each day. The largest amount of data comes from citizen scientists, but the system is also widely used by scientists, governmental agencies and nature conservation administrations for long-term storage and sharing of biodiversity data.

Among the citizen scientist contributions, the bird watching community plays an important role but much data is also submitted by amateur biologists interested in plants, fungi or insects. More than 10 000 private users contribute with data from bird watching, botanic field excursions and nature observations. With the exception of a few sensitive species, all data are freely accessible to view and download.

This presentation gives a short overview of the Species Observation System with a focus on how the data is used in research, policy and environmental planning, environmental impact assessments, etc. The data is also available for research analyses through Swedish LifeWatch, a research infrastructure for biodiversity data. In addition, all data is forwarded to the global GBIF database.